Boeing Pleads Guilty To Fraud In Connection With Fatal Crashes, Escapes With Smaller Fine Than Trump’s NY Penalty


Boeing has reportedly agreed to plead guilty to criminal fraud charges related to fatal crashed involving its 737 Max line. As part of the settlement, Boeing will admit to committing a felony but will avoid trial. The airline manufacturer is reportedly set to face a fine of $243 million, a penalty that has been described by victims as a “sweetheart deal.”

Boeing could have faced a fine of up to $487.2 million, though the Justice Department has recommended a penalty with half that amount under a previous agreement, resulting in a fine of $243.6 million, according to a report from CNBC. A federal judge will need to approve the settlement in order for it to be enacted.

If accepted, executives fear that the deal could complicate the company’s numerous arraignments with the federal government, though it is expected they will seek waivers. About 32 percent of Boeing’s nearly $78 billion in revenue last year came from its defense, space and security contracts, CNBC noted.

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A Defense Department official stated Monday that the DOD would assess the situation in conjunction with the Justice Department “to make a determination as to what steps are necessary and appropriate to protect the Federal Government.”

The plea deal would also install an independent monitor to oversee compliance over a three-year period. Boeing would also be ordered to invest $455 million in compliance and safety programs, according to a court filing.

In May, federal officials determined that Boeing violated a 2021 agreement that had shielded the company from criminal charges of conspiracy to commit fraud in relation with two fatal crashes in 2017 and 2018 involving its 737 MAX jet.

Under the 2021 deal, the DOJ agreed not to prosecute Boeing as long as the company overhauled its compliance practices and submitted regular reports. The company also agreed to pay $2.5 billion to settle the investigation.

The U.S. accused Boeing of conspiracy to defraud the government by misleading regulators about the inclusion of a flight-control system on the Max aircraft that was later involved in the two crashes — a Lion Air flight in October 2018 and an Ethiopian Airlines flight in March 2019. All 346 passengers and crew on board the flights were killed.

Critics have pointed out that former President Donald Trump was fined more for alleged “civil fraud” in a highly questionable New York case brought by Attorney General Letitia James, who campaigned on prosecuting Trump. The former president was ordered to pay over $350 million and is barred from conducting any business in New York State for three years for allegedly overvaluing his Mar-A-Lago estate.

James argued that the Palm Beach property was worth just $18 million despite the fact that surrounding properties are valued at hundreds of millions of dollars.

“They fined Donald Trump 2x more for accurately appraising the market value of his home than Boeing got fined for killing people,” said The Federalist editor Sean Davis wrote in an X post after the Boeing agreement was announced.

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